Take Exit 240 at Idaho Springs on Interstate 70. Drive south on Colorado 103 for 13.5 miles at Echo Lake. You can park near the lake (by the picnic area) or drive up to the Echo Lake Lodge and park in one of the parking lots near the entrance to the Mt. Evans road (Colorado 5).
This long hike is a substitute for walking all the way up the Mt. Evans road. You will bag a 12er and two 13ers along the way. Photo #1 shows the route seen from the northeast. Leave the parking area and start walking up the Mt. Evans road. There are green mile markers on this road so it's easy to keep track of distance. A bit after mile marker #2, there is a way to cut out part of the road that swings around to the Mt. Goliath parking area. Look for a yellow sign that says "Steep Curves... Next 7 miles". There is a boulder near the sign shaped like the head of a whale. Your immediate goal is to hike through the forest to reach the road again. Leave the road and climb up into the forest. Hike about 50 yards up through the forest to the bottom of a small clearing. You cannot see it from here, but the road is now 1/4 mile above you. Walk up and then a bit to the right (southwest) to reach tree-line. You should now be able to see the road above you. Reach the road near 11,660'. If you get "lost" in the trees, simply hike back down to the road and use the road instead of this shortcut. If you look at the topo map, you will see that this shortcut keeps you from having to walk (on the road) around Point 11,478' and past the Mt. Goliath parking area.
From the road, Mt Goliath (12,216') is up to your left. Walk up the road for a bit and then hike up off of the left (south) side of the road and begin your hike over and up the northeast ridge of Mt. Goliath. During your ascent, you will be able to see the Mt. Goliath parking area down to your left. You should also be able to see much of the road that you bypassed if you used the shortcut described above. From the top of Goliath, continue south and southwest along Goliath for 2/3 mile and you will descend a bit back down to the road where it cuts between Mt. Goliath and Rogers Peak. Rogers Peak is the large, rounded peak to the southwest. There are a few sub-peaks between you and Rogers. Cross the road and continue south toward the first small peak and then climb higher to the second. You are now 3/4 mile from Rogers Peak. Climb up the third sub-peak which is on the way up Rogers. Now that you have conquered the three smaller points, Rogers Peak is not far off. The hiking here is on grassy slopes with lots of boulders. When you reach the summit of Rogers (13,391'), you can see Mt. Warren. You can also see the northeast face and summit of Mt. Evans.
Leave Rogers Peak and hike 1.15 miles to the summit of Mt. Warren. You will lose 400' feet of elevation leaving Rogers and regain 340' on the hike up Mt. Warren. You can see the remainder of the route to the south. You can also look down on Summit Lake and people that may be in the parking area near the lake. Depending on the route you choose when leaving Mt. Warren, you may have to scramble around some drop-offs or large boulders to find the easiest hike down to the parking area. You will lose 475' on the 3/4 mile hike down to the parking area.
Descend back to Summit Lake via the same route. From Summit Lake you can descend via your original route or walk down the entire road. The road option will make your roundtrip distance approximately 18 miles.
The trek between Mt. Goliath and Summit Lake seems endless. If you run out of gas, hike over to the Mt. Evans road. The road is the easiest way down. I don't recommend this route (or any hike up the road) on a summer weekend. If you were to walk up the entire road (not using this route) and then climb the northeast face (route #5 on previous page), your elevation gain would be approximately 3,800'. IMPORTANT: This route enters the Mount Evans Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the Mount Evans Wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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